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Easier Access For University Students To Fitness & Physical Activity

Being physically active while in higher education boosts student confidence and wellbeing, plus fights feelings of loneliness. How can universities and colleges make accessing fitness easier? Technology can remove some significant barriers.

The British Active Students Survey found that students who are physically active tend to have higher mental and physical wellbeing, and feel more socially included, than those who are inactive. The survey also found that at the time it was conducted:

  • 76.5% of students are classified as active (complete at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week)
  • 9.8% are fairly active (complete 30 to 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week)
  • 13.8% are inactive (complete less than 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week)

There are clear benefits to encouraging students to keep fit and physically active during their time in higher education. From improved wellbeing to fighting loneliness, and even higher confidence in finding employment after study, the easier you can make accessing fitness and physical activity, the more fulfilling a student’s university experience will be.

Common barriers to fitness amongst higher education students include:

  • Having no time to spare for physical activity – too busy studying or socialising
  • The cost of accessing activities is too expensive
  • A lack of motivation
  • Feeling self-conscious

5 ways to make accessing physical activity easier

Technology should not become another barrier on this list, holding back your students from accessing physical activity during their time in higher education. Here are 5 ways to use technology to make access easier:

1. Go digital

Your students expect to be able to access your sports and fitness offering online from their chosen device. Choose a digital, cloud-based leisure management software solution that will help you meet the expectations of your students now and in the future.

From signing up for a membership to your facilities online, to booking classes, activities and more, your students should feel in control of their university fitness experience. No need to make phone calls or queue up at reception.

Plus, your team will have more time to focus on running your university sports department and engaging more of your students.

2. Give students one less password to remember

Your choice of technology can also make it easier for your students (and staff) to both sign up to and access your sports and fitness offering.

Choose to integrate your leisure and sports facility management software with your student and staff database. So, joining will be fast as there’s no need to enter details that they’ve already given you. This is especially helpful at peak times like freshers week when you have an influx of new and returning students. Less admin for your team, less friction for students!

Choose to enable single sign on (SSO) to let your students and staff use their Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) login credentials when using your digital member services portal and your app. That’s one less password to remember – making it easier to logon, book classes and activities, manage their fitness membership and more.

Find out how the University of Bristol has improved data security, made accessing activity easier, and increased engagement by extending SSO to its mobile app.

3. Remove the need for a paid membership

The cost of investing in a membership can be a barrier for various reasons. Your software should make it easy for all students to access physical activity opportunities on a casual basis without needing a paid membership.

Let all students book and pay for activities online from any device, regardless of their membership status. Just answer a few physical activity readiness questions and they are good to go! Students can access fitness on their terms.

4.  Offer an easy-to-use app

Take your place on your students’ phones with a branded native mobile app. No need to navigate to your member portal online each time they want to access your sports and fitness services.

By choosing a leisure management software partner who can provide an app your members can download straight to their Apple or Android device, you’ll make it easy for them to book and manage their account without lots of clicking around.

Plus, connect your app to other sports and fitness platforms you use. And offer digital, on-demand workouts too.

5. Make payments simple

Paying for your sports and fitness offering should be easy for your students. Create the right membership options and payment choices for every group you serve – students, staff, and your local community. By linking your software to your university database you’ll be able to control who has access to which options.

Rely on embedded payments in your software to increase collection rates for those paying on a recurring basis. And make it easy for students to pay for activities, bookings, tickets and more online (and across your facilities).

“Legend is so much more sophisticated than we expected it to be! It’s exciting to discover everything it can do and just how flexible it is. There are so many things it will be able to do for us that we’re learning and understanding as we dig deeper into the platform.”

– Ben Carne, Strategic Insights Manager, Loughborough Sport

Read the Loughborough Sport success story

Here to help you deliver exceptional student fitness experiences

Legend brings together leisure management software, payments and more into one cloud-based platform. So, it’s easier to run your facilities more efficiently – leaving you with more time to focus on delivering stand out sporting experiences for your students.

Find out why universities are moving to Legend